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Citing North Carolina Anti-LGBT Law, PayPal Scraps Planned Charlotte Expansion

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announced the company would scrap plans to expand in Charlotte, North Carolina, citing that state's recently-passed anti-LGBT law. (Photo: PopTech/Flickr Creative Commons)

PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announced the company would scrap plans to expand in Charlotte, North Carolina, citing that state’s recently-passed anti-LGBT law. (Photo: PopTech/Flickr Creative Commons)

PayPal announced Tuesday that it is scrapping plans to open an operations center in Charlotte, North Carolina in protest of a new state law legalizing discrimination against LGBT people.

“Two weeks ago, PayPal announced plans to open a new global operations center in Charlotte and employ over 400 people in skilled jobs,” Dan Schulman, president and CEO of the online payment giant, said in a media release. “In the short time since then, legislation has been abruptly enacted by the state of North Carolina that invalidates protections of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens and denies these members of our community equal rights under the law.”

“The new law perpetuates discrimination and it violates the values and principles that are at the core of PayPal’s mission and culture,” Schulman continued. “As a result, PayPal will not move forward with our planned expansion into Charlotte. This decision reflects PayPal’s deepest values and our strong belief that every person has the right to be treated equally, and with dignity and respect. These principles of fairness, inclusion and equality are at the heart of everything we seek to achieve and stand for as a company. And they compel us to take action to oppose discrimination.”

Last month, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed into law a measure preventing municipalities from passing any legislation protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender residents from discrimination. The law also restricts restroom access by forcing transgender people to use facilities that do not reflect their true gender identity. The new law was introduced to repeal a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender residents of the state’s largest city to use restrooms matching their gender identity.

Numerous corporations, including tech giants Apple and Google, joined LGBT advocates, the National Basketball Association (NBA), the city of San Francisco and others in condemning the North Carolina law.

Schulman is far from the first tech executive to stand firmly in favor of LGBT rights. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff and others have threatened or taken action in response to anti-LGBT legislation in Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere. Such pressure has successfully scuttled similar legislation in states including Arizona, Indiana and Georgia.

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